Mystery over source of pollution in Irthlingborough

Mystery surrounds the source of pollution affecting a watercourse in Irthlingborough.

Friday, 14th September 2018, 6:00 am
The pollution in Irthlingborough

John Paul Billson has spent months trying to find out why water in an area around the town’s High Street is polluted.

The affected brook runs through public areas of land by Spinney Brook Medical Centre and the library, as well as through a number of residential properties including Mr Billson’s before continuing down to the River Nene.

Another picture of the pollution in Irthlingborough

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The problem has been ongoing for months and despite contacting numerous authorities about it, no-one has been able to identify the source.

Mr Billson, who recently raised the issue at a meeting of Irthlingborough Town Council, said: “This has been going on since February with this waste coming through our garden.

“I want someone to come and look at the issue that we are having to put up with.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We are continuing to investigate the source of this pollution in the area around High Street, Irthlingborough, and are working in conjunction with the highways department of Northamptonshire County Council and Anglian Water to resolve the issue.

“We believe the pollution is likely to be a mix of fats and oils and are asking residents, especially owners of restaurants and takeaways, to check drainage systems of properties, to make sure any sewerage including kitchen and washing waters are discharged to the foul sewer.

“If residents have problems they should ring our incident hotline 0800 807060.”

Anglian Water has been involved with the investigation.

A company spokesman said the sewer is owned by Northamptonshire Highways and added: “We have been giving some resources to the highways authority.

“It looks like the sewer is blocked, which is causing some stuff to come out of it.

“But it’s not our sewer so we can’t act on it.

“We have helped highways and the Environment Agency to look into the sewer where we can.”

Anglian Water will continue to be involved in meetings with Environment Agency and Northamptonshire Highways as they try to get to the root of the problem.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “After investigatory work it is still unclear as to the cause of the pollution.

“We will continue to work with partner organisations to establish a cause and resolve the issue.”

East Northants Council is also aware of the ongoing issue, and a spokesman said: “We’re aware of pollution affecting the watercourse and the responsible agencies are investigating the source but, to date, they haven’t been able to identify where the problem lies.

“We have no responsibility for pollution of controlled waters but have shared our insight and knowledge with the investigation team.

“Any concerns about this situation should be directed to the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.”